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Harvard Article | 6 Ways to Snack Smarter

I enjoy a little snack every now and then and,so  when I came across this article I though I'd share with you! 

Here are their 6 tips for smarter snacking.

  1. Bring back breakfast. Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. 
  2. Try a "high-low" combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks.
  3. Go nuts. Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.
  4. The combo snack. Try to have more than just one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Or try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrate) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied.
  5. Snack mindfully. Don't eat your snack while doing something else — like surfing the Internet, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you're doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
  6. Take it with you. Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthful snacks in your pocket or purse so you won't turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.

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6 ABDOMINAL WORKOUT MYTHS YOU’VE GOT TO STOP BELIEVING

I often see clients with weak core strength, (myself included) and encourage people to work ion their core (myself included).  Benefits are not just about aesthetics , but about can help with posture, neck and back issues and even confidence!

I came across  this article and found ti pretty helpful, I hope you do too!

'Myth 1: The most efficient ab exercises are done on the floor

If you look forward to the core section of your workout because you get to to lay down, no judgement—but you’re doing it all wrong. “The most effective movement is having a 360-degree motion that incorporates the entire body,” explains Massenburg.

In fact, his go-to core move is actually a variation on a lunge. Here’s how it works: load a dumbell onto your left shoulder, then take a step forward with the right foot and come down into a lunge. Then, at the same time, throw the weight across the bent knee to the right hip, and bring the right foot and left hand back to the start position.

“One of the best things about the lunge-and-chop is that you have acceleration and deceleration,” he explains, adding that kettlebell swings have a similar effect on the core. “When you’re throwing a load in one direction, it calls for a lot of core activation, as does slowing it down and going back to starting position.” 

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Man Beats Depression Medication With Meditation

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Man Beats Depression Medication With Meditation

Story about a man who fought depression with meditation rather than medication. Meditation itself is very powerful, and this is a great example. 

"he now lives his life medication free thanks to the mental peace he achieves through meditation. He says years ago he was able to stop taking his depression meds when he discovered the ancient mindfulness practice..."

Click Here For Full Article

To find out more about meditation and how Cherish Healing can help you, click here...

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What I learnt from getting second degree burns.

What I learnt about getting second degree burns..

There is nothing like bringing you back into the moment like pain.  In that moment it screams at your brain and nothing else exists.

I experienced this recently as my hand slipped whilst draining some pasta at the start of this month, and I spilt boiling water on my leg. The first few nano seconds I was mainly annoyed, damn what a mess. Then the burning kicked in. I snatched my leggings downwards and looked at the burnt skin creep down my upper thigh left.

With no one home I ran upstairs, instinct told me to get cold water on it.  I dashed (as best I could) upstairs to the bathroom and googled what to do straight after a burn.

I manically tried the shower on the bath- typically only the hot water was running no matter which way I turned the faucet.  I had a panic and then told myself to calm down and improvise.  You’re resourceful I told myself, and then sat on the edge of the bath, started manually pouring cold water from the sink on my leg with a cup.  I kept doing this because it felt good.  The moment I stopped the pain would scream out again. 

Nobody answered my called, not my mother, brother or lover.

It was just me, I remembered the story of aromatherapy and ran into my room for the lavender oil and started alternating organic lavender oil drops with cold water. 

My Boyf called me back, and was trying to be helpful.   You’ll be alright he nudged encouragingly, I haven’t eaten yet, but do you want me to come over? Go to A and E he said.  I was crying at this point, and not very good at being consoled at the best of times.

I called 111 to get a more expert view, and was directed to A and E.  At this point my mum called me back and came home (a tiny bit tipsy from a glass of wine) with a neighbour, saw the state I was in and carefully drove me to the local hospital.

In short after a 4 hour wait, my boyfriends came over for a while then left,  my dad joining me in hospital and stayed.  He had fell of his bike around half an hour after I had my burn, and thought he’d broke his hand.  I finally got to see a nurse.

Two nurses came in, a female nurse and a male nurse, I was hoping for the lady.  I mean the burn was pretty high up on my leg, and I’ve had some bad experiences with men in positions of trust in the past.  I asked  who I would I was be seen by, and cheerily the man replied, whoever gets to you first he said with a smile.  Ur ok I replied.  Moments later the Doctor took a look and said the top layer of skin would need to be removed and that a nurse would be in to do it.

A.top.layer.

Removed.

I didn’t’ quite comprehend and mentally rejected his words until the smiley (male) Nurse came in and carefully explained what he was going to do and why. .. fast forward 5 minutes and out comes the scalpel and fluid washed to loosen the top later of burnt skin.  He popped my blistered skin and started cutting and peeling. 

He kept apologising, and in the same breath let me know how relaxing and therapeutic he found doing this kind of task.

I strangely felt safe.  The more he spoke of yoga, meditation and the dangers of fluoride, I knew I was in safe hands, with a kindred spirit.  At this point the female nurse comes in and said 'oh can I watch, I’ve not done this before'.  I let out a sign of relief.

I volunteered to the guinea pig for a nurse training to give her first smear test once. Lets just say Never Again.  In fact the less said about the experience the better.

 The lovely nurse finished taking off my skin, pasting and then wrapping my leg.  ‘There you go, all done, come back in a day for a change. We need to make sure the burn doesn’t get infected or burn any deeper.  If it continues and becomes a third degree burn, you will need a skin graft.’

 

o.m.g

I was tearful but came home deeply grateful for the NHS, and that my dad’s hand was not broken.

Several days in bed I found myself agonising over my burn, what I had done to myself ? Feeling a deep sadness and frustration at staying in bed.   My brother thought I was milking it and there was in fact part of me that felt guilty, and that in fact yes I should be getting on with things.  Instead I listened to my body who was asking for stillness and spent 3 weeks nurturing, asking for healing vibes and watching my skin heal.

I think the sense of aloneness was very magnified when I was unable to get out of bed.  I had this after a big heartbreak once.  The feeling that really it is just us. No matter how much a lover commits his love, or a friend shares her good wishes It’s just ultimately you and the process of pain, you and your head, you and your thoughts. And you know what? It’s ok.  I’m ok and at getting better with this.

I’m stronger than I thought was another thing I learnt. I was able to watch my skin being peeled off my flesh and be very presence for this elimination of the bad, in order for the new to flourish.

I learnt empathy for people who are bed bound.  Today I learnt that Winston Churchill and Florence Nightingale did lots of work from their beds.  This has inspired me to make most of my duvet days and in actual fact, I’m writing this from under my duvet this very moment.

My baby/company is called Cherish Healing.  Now this name represents many things.  One in particular was how joyful I feel when helping others.  How much I love it.  But it’s also about being there for when times are painful, times when people are at their lowest, and learning cherishing this too.  It’s a total honour to feel that someone can let down their guard, reach out and trust again, despite getting hurt.

The last thing I learn was a deeper lesson in mindfulness.  I was thinking of something totally unrelated when I burnt myself.  Something that was a little victim, and poor me to be honest.  I took the burn as a real wake up call for when my thoughts decide to take this path.  When I notice I say no.  No thank you.  I’m here, I’m alive and doing ok, just as I am. Followed by a healing smooth breath and back to the task at hand.

I may scar , I may not. Either way these lessons have been literally burnt into my skin.  Lets hope the next lessons are a little less painful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harvard Article : Looking after your eye health

I remember wearing my mum's glasses as a child thinking how cool they were. I was less impressed when I found myself needing glasses for short sightedness.  This lasted for a few years before I decided to get laser eye surgery .  I'm still mindful of eye health and so wanted to share this Harvard Article on Eye health, enjoy!

'Of your five senses, which one are you most afraid of losing? If you're like most people, your answer is your ability to see. Because our eyesight is so precious, it's no wonder that myths abound about what can damage our eyes — and what can protect them. Here, we debunk five common myths — and tell you how to truly keep your eyes healthy.

Myth: Doing eye exercises will delay the need for glasses.

Fact: Eye exercises will not improve or preserve vision or reduce the need for glasses. Your vision depends on many factors, including the shape of your eyeball and the health of the eye tissues, neither of which can be significantly altered with eye exercises.

Myth: Reading in dim light will worsen your vision.

Fact: Dim lighting will not damage your eyesight. However, it will tire your eyes out more quickly. The best way to position a reading light is to have it shine directly onto the page, not over your shoulder. A desk lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material is ideal.

Myth: Carrots are the best food for the eyes.

Fact: Carrots, which contain vitamin A, are indeed good for the eyes. But fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables, which contain more antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, are even better. Antioxidants may even help protect the eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Just don't expect them to prevent or correct basic vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Myth: It's best not to wear glasses or contact lenses all the time. Taking a break from them allows your eyes to rest.

Fact: If you need glasses or contacts for distance or reading, use them. Not wearing your glasses will strain your eyes and tire them out instead of resting them. However, it will not worsen your vision or lead to eye disease.

Myth: Staring at a computer screen all day is bad for the eyes.

Fact: Using a computer does not damage your eyes. However, staring at a computer screen all day can contribute to eyestrain or tired eyes. People who stare at a computer screen for long periods tend not to blink as often as usual, which can cause the eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable.  To help prevent eyestrain, adjust the lighting so it doesn't create a glare or harsh reflection on the screen, rest your eyes briefly every 20 minutes, and make a conscious effort to blink regularly so that your eyes stay well lubricated.

 

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Mindfulness at Work

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Mindfulness at Work

The definition of mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. However there’s a lot more to it and there are many ways we can control our thought process – how we think. Bearing in mind the experiences I’ve acquired since working 9-5, I think the first to becoming a mindful individual is accepting that life is not perfect. Nor will it ever be, but it is in our capability to control it to a certain level. We can sometimes even avoid unpleasant situations (such as arguments with colleagues) just by being mindful of others and understanding that external events we are exposed to cannot be controlled by us. Another way of being mindful to one self is by acknowledging we are only human and it can help to just go easy on ourselves when times are hard.


We should not expect others to understand us straight away, just as we should not expect ourselves to understand things straight away. Thinking solely rationally and logically is not always the case when emotions are involved. Taking time to be mindful and not reacting straight away to certain actions can really be a good habit to get into (e.g. thinking how the other person may feel once you express your opinion on a sensitive matter). There is nothing wrong with actively taking time to think and aiming for inner peace. Acknowledge and enjoy that cereal in the morning. Acknowledge and enjoy being able to sleep in a comfortable bed at night before thinking about anything else. Finally, try to remember everyone deserves happiness. 

By Lucie Fialova

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7 Of The Best Spots In Dublin To Try Out Yoga For The First Time

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7 Of The Best Spots In Dublin To Try Out Yoga For The First Time

Travelling to Dublin this year? Check out this article which mentions some of the best spots you can visit in Dublin and not miss out on your daily yoga sesh!

"Here are some of our favourite spots to stretch and get a little limber, all of which are absolutely perfect for people at the very start of their journey. Your body will thank you for it later, we promise. Namaste. "

Click Here For Full Article

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Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For

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Yoga May Be The Medicine Aboriginal Communities Have Been Looking For

A lovely article that shows that yoga is for everybody and has lasting benefits for those who practice it..

"One night, “a spark went off” in his head. “I didn’t have the courage to kill myself, but I didn’t have the strength to live,” Terrance told The Huffington Post Canada in an interview. “I thought ‘OK, I need to do something about this.’" Terrance was...."

Click Here For Full Article

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Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories

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Yoga saved my life: three people share their stories

Three lovely stories that tell us how yoga has helped people in life..

"At a time of difficulty last year I found comfort in yoga. I went through a period of torturous insomnia that left me wide awake every night until 3am, begging for my brain to switch off. I’d heard that yoga could help so started going to a local class. Immediately, I felt better. I loved how slow and methodical it was, and the fact that teachers discussed mindful and positive thinking. These were all things I’d heard little about before. Gradually, as I de-stressed and learned to relax, my sleep improved. I even used to go through the poses in my head before bed, which always helped me drift off..." 

Click Here For Full Article

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Developing a habit of mindfulness can boost kids

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Developing a habit of mindfulness can boost kids

Mindfulness can not only benefit adults but also children, especially if they adopt this holistic technique from a young age.. 

"Encouraging children to develop a habit of mindfulness can have big payoffs for school, home and social environments. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the here and now. It is an active awareness of thoughts, emotions and sensory perceptions (what you are currently hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling)..."

Click Here For Full Article

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The Mental Practice That Could Reduce Teacher Burnout

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The Mental Practice That Could Reduce Teacher Burnout

A short and sweet article on using mindfulness in class... 

"Up to half of new teachers quit within their first five years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Some educators say mindfulness practices could help reduce high burnout and turnover rates. The secular practice that’s taking over yoga and meditation classes has been making its way into the classrooms across the country..."

Click Here For Full Article

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The rise of Kidney Stones: Are you at risk?

I have been lucky to avoid kidney stones but I have heard horror stories about people who have had them. I came across this Harvard health article about them and thought I'd share for those also in the dark. Thanks to Robert H. Shmerling MD for the the article.

'In the past, medical textbooks described the typical person unlucky enough to develop a kidney stone as a white, middle-aged, obese man who eats an unhealthy diet and doesn’t drink enough fluids. Those books may need an update.  A new study has found not only that the incidence of kidney stones is going up, but that they are also developing in people not considered high-risk in the past, including children, women, and African Americans.

Why stones?

Kidney stones develop when certain chemicals in the urine, such as calcium or uric acid, form crystals. Risk factors for stone formation include

  • diet, including high intake of animal protein, sodium, and sugar, as well as low intake of fluids
  • certain conditions, such as gout, diabetes, and obesity
  • some medications, including calcium supplements
  • family history and genetics — kidney stones can run in families, although the specific contributions of shared genes versus shared environments and diets are uncertain.

While a specific cause may be impossible to identify, kidney stones are common, affecting about 19% of men and 9% of women by age 70.

Do stones matter?

Occasionally, kidney stones are discovered incidentally and pass on their own, never causing symptoms or needing treatment. But, when they become stuck somewhere, they can cause pain or blocked urine flow. They can become lodged anywhere in the urinary system, including the kidney, the ureters (the narrow tubes connecting each kidney to the bladder), the bladder, or the urethra (the passageway between the bladder and the outside world). As you might have heard, “passing a kidney stone” can be agonizingly painful — that’s usually when it’s become stuck in a ureter.

In addition to pain and urinary problems, kidney stones can also cause bleeding and kidney damage. They can increase the risk of a urinary tract infection and have even been linked to cardiovascular disease. So, the answer is — yes, they do matter.

This just in

A study just published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology describes an analysis of more than 150,000 people in South Carolina who experienced kidney stones at some point between 1997 and 2012. The study’s major findings were:

  • The frequency of kidney stones increased 16% over the study period.
  • The biggest increases were among children, women, and African Americans.
  • While more men than women had kidney stones (as has been noted in the past), women outnumbered men among those under age 25.

Why the rise?

This study and past research have not been able to determine the reason kidney stones seem to be on the rise. The rising rate of obesity may be playing a role. Another possibility is climate change, as warmer temperatures encourage dehydration. The fact is, no one knows for sure.

What’s a person to do?

If you have symptoms of kidney stones, see your doctor or report directly to an emergency room. The most common symptoms are waves of pain in the back or lower abdomen, pain with urination, or blood in the urine.

If you’ve already been diagnosed with a kidney stone, it’s important to figure out why it happened (if possible) and take steps to avoid recurrence. See your doctor to discuss dietary measures and medications to take (or avoid). The details vary depending on the type of stone you had and the results of your blood and urine tests.

What now?

We need more research to understand the reason — or reasons — kidney stones are becoming more common. If we can figure it out, there’s a good chance we can find better ways to prevent them. Considering how painful and potentially dangerous kidney stones can be, prevention is key. Ask anyone who has had one: kidney stones are definitely worth avoiding if possible'

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9 Signs You Have A Hormonal Imbalance

As someone who struggles with hormones this article was very interesting and reassuring.  To otter’s out there you are to alone! 

'When the word "hormones" is uttered, visions of raging menopausal women come to mind for most. That's so sad. Hormonal changes affect everyone from birth to death, yet we seem to have a very negative association with that word.  

For women, the most pronounced changes come in their 40s and 50s, but can been seen as early as their mid-30s. Many more women are having hormonal symptoms earlier, which has a lot to do with not only our lifestyle and diet, but also the pollution, toxins and xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that act as estrogen in our bodies) that we're exposed to every day.’ For more on this article click here

We are holding a Yoga and Nutrition workshop if you’d like some support! Click link for more info  

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